How do schools best use technology to enhance learning? How can parents balance media in ways that support children’s growth and development? Where is education headed in our fast-changing digital world?
Increasingly, Waldorf education is recognized as a leader in the integration of education and technology. We offer an intentional and highly considered approach that incorporates the right technology at the right time. We create a learning environment based on human interaction rather than react to the latest products in the marketplace. Most importantly, we work in partnership with parents, many from the tech industry, to support each other as children develop creative intelligence and flexibility in thinking through life.
How does this look through the years?
In the early years, children learn through imitation and imagination. Our teachers tell beautiful stories with complex vocabulary and sentence structure. Children develop the capacity to form mental pictures that support future reading comprehension and creative thinking. They are unencumbered by the passive consumption of fixed media images, which scientific research confirms are difficult for children to process and can hinder learning. In our classrooms, young children move, play, create, solve problems, and explore nature.
Grade school students learn best through engaging, experiential, creative lessons. A media-free classroom environment supports exploration, imagination, self-confidence in intellectual skills, and the development of strong social connections. Our classrooms are places of creativity and human interaction, teachers and students in community. In the middle school years, our students are introduced to digital literacy, exploring questions of online behavior, information resources, and social citizenship.
In high school, students use technological tools for learning and creation, and our teachers cultivate critical and imaginative thinking through discussion-based seminars and inquiry-based exploration. Students use our media center in the library, rotating laptop cart for the classrooms, and electronic access to class notes and assignments. Phones and social media are turned off during the school day to provide stress-free space for discussion, debate, and human social interaction.
Through the years, a Waldorf education gives children space and time to develop into free and independent young adults with initiative to become the next writers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators of the tech world.
Wait Until Eighth
The Flickering Mind: Saving Education from the False Promise of Technology. Todd Oppenheimer (SF Waldorf Parent)